The Puzzly – The ISOTCMN Book Of The Month – January 2016

January 2016. It was (deep breath) National Codependency Awareness Month, National Mentoring Month, National Healthy Weight Awareness Month, Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Stalking Awareness Month, Be Kind To Food Servers Month, California Dried Plum Digestive Health Month, Hot Tea Month, National Soup Month and Oatmeal Month,  – if you lived in the USA, that is. For us Brits, it was Dry January – a title meant to imply that following Christmas excesses, we were supposed to avoid the demon liquor for a whole month. And someone up there saw that title and decided to “ironically” drop enough water from the heavens to make some people have to swim to work.

As for me (apart from basically ignoring Dry January), January is back to work month, meaning less time to read than I’d like, but still managed to get through eleven books. But which one is going to walk off with the first Puzzly – my book of the month – for 2016?

The books in question were:

There’s a link between a number of the books this month – the lack of a body for most of the narrative. Whether it’s a missing potential body (Missing Or Murdered, There May Be Danger), an investigation to prevent a murder (A Masterpiece Of Corruption), deliberate slow pacing (Death On The Riviera, Night At The Mocking Widow) or a book for kids with a man with a kookaburra on his head (The Laughing Shadow), it’s brought home to me how much I prefer a clearly defined problem to a what’s-going-on plot. Not that I didn’t enjoy these books, but it’s nice to have a specific mystery to solve.

Taking PityDead PrettyBut Book Of The Month? It comes down to three books, but L C Tyler did win it last month. I can’t separate the other two – the outstanding Taking Pity and Dead Pretty. But I don’t have to as  they’re both by David Mark. Not your standard mystery fare, but this series continues to go from strength to strength. I’d go back to the start – or at least Book Three, Sorrow Bound.

Next month, more from Robin Forsythe, a couple of new authors to me and, as it’s Readathon time again, a bunch of old favourites. Hope you stick around for those.


  1. I am probably repeating myself, but how do you manage to read so many books, and work a full time job, and blog about it? I would say it is my advanced age that makes me slower but I am pretty sure I never could have kept up that pace.

    There are a few authors here I haven’t tried yet… and I should.


    • You should see how many Kate at Cross Examining Crime gets through. I’m dead jealous of her…

      As for how I do it? Carrying my Kindle around with me in my jacket pocket, making time every day to read, picking short books (that last one’s important)… Two books of short stories and a kid’s book this month could almost be seen as cheating…


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